Netflix’s Best Binges for Summer

If you, like me, are sick of the heatwave and have resorted to sitting inside trying to stay cool, then never fear! Razz has rounded up six of Netflix’s most bingeable shows for you to watch until the weather calms down and we can all safely wear jeans again.  The Good Place Simply put, The…

Postcards From Abroad: Signapore

It’s hard to describe Singapore. This is partly because it was nothing like I imagined, and partly because I feel like you need to go there to understand. I’m not one to be impressed by man-made attractions and skylines made up of skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, but there was something about Singapore that made my jaw drop. This city-state was spotless, sophisticated and dynamic. Sparkling sky-high buildings with gardens bursting from the upper floors, enormous shopping malls that felt like cities in themselves, Chinese and Indian neighbourhoods that seemed to transport you to a different country; this is Singapore. The mix of Malaysian, Indian and Chinese residents also adds a whole new depth to the city. Although it is an expensive place to visit, I was surprised at how easy it was to stick to my budget. Travelling solo as a woman can be scary, but at no point during my visit did I feel unsafe or vulnerable. I would recommend Singapore to all!

It’s Debatable: The Ethics of Love Island

Love Island is dominating television and social media this summer. The concept behind it is simple: place a group of good looking 20-somethings in a villa, where they have to couple up or dump each other depending on who they fancy, with the winning couple awarded £50,000. In this environment, drama and controversy are unavoidable. How can I not become heavily invested in the nation’s favourites, Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham, or seethe at ‘Muggy’ Megan Barton’s every action? Despite being an avid fan, I can’t help but question what the programme is actually portraying. Are programmes like Love Island healthy in their representation of love and relationships?

Review: Ocean’s 8

When I found out that a whole host of talented women were coming together for the Ocean’s 8 cast, I was thrilled. Then I was overcome with dread. A female spin-off is always under the microscope, meaning that they must work twice as hard to gain half the recognition. The film was worth the watch, but that microscopic lens was a gaze that, at times, sadly overpowered the film.

Obviously, Ocean’s 8 had to pay respects to its predecessors. The film handled this well with a sprinkling of cameos and allusions to Debbie Ocean’s (Sandra Bullock) late brother Danny. The film’s awareness of its surrounding franchise also proved to be its downfall though. The previous Ocean’s films had charm due to their own style of dry humour that was uttered by heartthrobs like George Clooney and Brad Pitt. The first quarter of Ocean’s 8, however, tried to replicate this but fell flat. I didn’t get why at first – Sandra Bullock is usually hilarious? She can do wry and cheeky, never failing on comic delivery. I then realised that the problem was that it sounded like she was saying someone else’s punchlines. At the beginning, her lines seemed to be the verbatim of Danny Ocean’s, leading to a struggle to appreciate what Debbie Ocean had to bring to the table. This is one of the reasons why I always get the fear when an all-women spinoff is announced.

Postcards from Abroad: Norway

I started this summer by flying with my friend Jacob to his home country for two eagerly anticipated weeks of perfecting my Norwegian, soaking up the cultural and instagramable sights, and enjoying more fish dishes than my pescatarian self could wish for. After stumbling across the hugely popular web series Skam a few years ago, I fell head first in love with the country and spent more than an acceptable amount of time researching my “future home” (job success dependant because, wow, is Norway expensive).

Norway, however, was everything and nothing like I expected it to be. No matter how much Jacob reassured me before departure that ‘Norway does have summers too!’, I wasn’t prepared for the 30 degree heat the country was enduring from a rare but persistent heatwave. Nor was I to perfect any of the basic Norwegian I already knew. You were much more likely to see me tight lipped and silent, refusing my receipt with a shake of the head because apparently even the way I said ‘nei’ was amusing to my friend, tour guide, and native speaker. Nonetheless, prepared to return all but bankrupt and thoroughly exercised (because it turns out everything in Norway is a hill), we were off.

In My Good Books: ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Morris

 “You will honour them by staying alive, surviving this place and telling the world what happened here.”

Based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris, follows the harrowing memories of an Auschwitz prisoner. It captures the true experience of Lale as he battles for survival and yet finds love in the midst of chaos. Each reader becomes truly invested in the day to day battles of Lale and Gita, as love and friendship prove as essential to survival as physical needs. Heather Morris recounts the intricate relationships and business affairs of Lale Sokolov as he bargains, begs and befriends his way to survival.

A Love Letter to Love Island

I told myself I wouldn’t be drawn in by the hype of Love Island again. After an embarrassing four-week binge last summer, instigated by the Mike-Jess ‘did they, didn’t they’ saga, I said goodbye to July with a whole new vocabulary, new-found knowledge of the Blazin’ Squad and six pounds heavier as a result of the snacks consumed whilst binging the show. Yet, as the 2nd June 2018 rolled around, my housemates and I sat, buffet in tow, impatiently anticipating the return of the fourth series. Two weeks in, I’m rooting for Dani, astounded by Adam and secretly hoping Eyal will be whisked off by the producers and dropped in the sea. I know deep down, I’m absolutely screwed.

Review: Faslane by Jenna Watt

My parents grew up in the cold war era, where the shadow of Hiroshima and Nagasaki hung closer and the threat of further use of nuclear weapons felt tangible. While the use of nuclear weapons is still a potential reality, heightened by the attitudes of certain leaders like Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, there is…

First Year: The Highs and The Lows

The thing about university is that no matter how much you convince yourself that you are prepared to start this whole new life in a new place, meeting new people and doing new things, you’re never really fully prepared (or at least I wasn’t anyway).

I made countless to-do lists, read an abundance of blog posts and watched too many YouTube videos on people’s experiences of moving to university and their first year in general. What I should have realised from that, is that everyone’s experience is different.

Razz’s Favourite Films: Atonement

Just over ten years after Atonement was released, it remains a triumph of film-making and storytelling. It’s an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s heart-wrenching 2001 novel, and his sensual writing is expertly translated onto screen by director Joe Wright. Set across three different periods of time, it begins in the 1930s. We follow Briony Tallis, a precocious 13-year-old who aspires to be a writer. That summer, she witnesses something that she doesn’t understand between her sister Cecilia and Robbie, the family’s gardener. The false accusation that she makes has consequences for all three of their lives and as the title suggests, Briony spends the rest of her life consumed with guilt and trying to make up for it.

Artist Profile: Claes Oldenburg

Razz magazine’s artist profile on the sculptor, Claes Oldenburg, and the way that his work reflects issues in the modern day world.

Review: Beast

A twisted tale, Beast is the debut feature from writer-director Michael Pearce starring Johnny Flynn and Jessie Buckley. Set in the picturesque Jersey, Beast follows Moll (Buckley) and her turbulent relationship with Pascal Renouf (Flynn). The duo’s relationship develops into a romantic one but soon local anxieties regarding the murders of young women encroach on…

One to Watch: Paige Music

Discovering new music is one of the delights in this unpredictable world. In my opinion, it can make everyone’s week just that little bit better. That’s how it feels to listen to the talented tunes and vibes of Paige Music, led by Lauren Buckley. The Buckinghamshire singer has been around music and performance for a…

Review: Umbra

It’s difficult to articulate my experience of Umbra, a production by Theatre With Teeth and Get Out Of My Space. In its simplest form, Umbra explores lust, love, temptation and possession by the devil through wordless physical theatre in an immersive environment. This ambitious piece, devised by Tobias Cornwell and James Hawley, was certainly an…

Review: Poltimore Festival 2018

Poltimore Festival 2018, the annual arts and music festival held just outside of Exeter, celebrated its eighth birthday with its most successful event to date at the eponymous aristocratic house on Sunday 27th May. All funds raised from the day, including ticket sales and 30% of the profit from the catering stalls, went towards The…

Review: My Fair Lady

Footlights, Exeter’s musical theatre society, are well-known for their high-budget, high-ambition productions. Shows like The Producers, Singin’ in the Rain and Gypsy, were tantalising visual spectacles, true to the Broadway musical genre. So it was intriguing to see their production of My Fair Lady which, unlike their other recent plays, was performed at the smaller…

Razz’s Summer Recipes

Finally, summer is here! The following recipes are perfect for making with friends and enjoying in the sunshine. For more of my culinary ventures, follow me on Instagram: food_with_lu. Chocolate, berry and walnut cake squares Vegan My Norwegian flatmate introduced me to this super easy recipe. Serves: 12 squares, baking time: 30 minutes Ingredients 150ml of non-dairy milk 200g…

Razz’s Summer Reads

Your phone is in aeroplane mode, your best mate has started snoring on your shoulder after one too many airport cocktails, it’s the perfect time to grab a paperback and start your holiday off with the perfect novel. If you’re at a loose end with exams over, or just can’t face the graduate job search…

Review: It Shoulda Been You

There was a lot that could go wrong when you’re putting on a show like It Shoulda Been You. A musical-comedy is best to be avoided when considering how many invitations for failure there are inherent in the genre. Cringey dialogue, cheap jokes that fall flat, plots that adorn absurdity, are all too common; worsened…

Review: The Galley Restaurant in Topsham

Located on Fore Street in the heart of Topsham, your first impression of The Galley may be of a small, unassuming restaurant. Facing a boat yard, the restaurant has a charming view across the river, with a newly refurbished cobalt blue exterior. The Galley looks like a quaint, local business. In fact, it is exactly…

Exhibition Review: Another Spring

At the heart of Exeter, almost hidden down Gandy Street, is Exeter Phoenix. Apart from being the home to various ‘Showcase’ events, Phoenix has plenty to offer. It’s an exciting, high-caliber arts venue that is famous for its cinema, theatre, radio station, art workshops and art galleries. From the 4th of May, it is home…

Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ Exeter Northcott

From May 8th to 12th, Exeter Northcott was home to a raucous and outrageous adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. From the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and devising company Filter, this production, a revival of the adaptation first performed in London and Manchester, is currently being toured around the country with Exeter as their…

Review: Jack Dean’s ‘Nuketown’ @ Exeter Phoenix

“Nuketown is a combined storytelling and protest art project about cities, public money and the possible end of life as we know it.” This Monday, 14th of May, Jack Dean reached the second leg of his tour and performed his most recent piece, Nuketown, here at our very own Exeter Phoenix. Jack Dean is an…

In My Good Books: ‘The Muse’ by Jessie Burton

‘The Muse’ is a novel packed with mystery, thwarted love and artistry. Following her captivating novel ‘The Miniaturist’, Jessie Burton’s next novel depicts an equally in-depth fictionalisation of contemporary cultural anxieties. Thus while ‘The Miniaturist’ explores the historic damning of sodomy, ‘The Muse’ depicts racial prejudice in the 1960s, as well as the social tension…

Met Gala Fashion Review

The Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute Gala (or Met Gala for short) always takes place on the first Monday in May and this year the theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Jonny McKinnell reviews his stand-out looks of the night… Rihanna in Maison Margiela Look, we all know Rihanna is the true queen…

Exeter Pride 2018

On Saturday 12th May, Exeter celebrated its 10th Pride, boasting more events, supporters, and rainbow flags than ever before. As one of the biggest celebrations of the LGBTQ+ community in the South West, it promised to provide an “explosion of colour, positivity and pride”. The event certainly exceeded itself, proving a roaring success with such…

Unimumma’s Exam-Time Meals: Turkey Koftas

Serves 4 Ingredients: 500g turkey mince 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander 4 tsp cumin 3 tsp ground coriander 2 garlic cloves (grated) ½ red onion (grated) 1 egg Method: Combine all the ingredients together, season with salt and pepper and make into kofta shapes (this is easier with wet hands). :Leave in the fridge for…

Unimumma’s Exam-Time Meals: Spatchcock Chicken Traybake

Ingredients: 1 medium chicken 2 red peppers 1 red onion ½ butternut squash 2 courgettes 1 aubergine 3 garlic cloves (chopped) 4 tsp smoked paprika 2 tsp paprika 2 tsp tumeric 2 tsp dried oregano 500g Quinoa mix 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint 1 lemon 3 tbsp 0% fat yogurt 1 tbsp olive oil 1…

Interview: The LaFontaines

Owen Bell: What were the main sources of inspiration for your musical style? Or did you just start messing around in the recording studio and it came to life? Kerr Okan (vocals): A bit of both to be honest. First and foremost, we are a rock band. I just so happen to rap over it….

Uninumma’s Lunch Recipe: Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad

As exams are now amongst us, and we are fighting for space in the Forum, lunch needs to be quick, healthy, and cheap (of course). So this week is all about meal prepping, bringing you three meals that will keep for a few days and are perfect to take to campus! Tuna and Cannellini Bean…

Interview: Matt Donnelly from Don Broco

Prior to their show at Exeter’s Lemon Grove last week, Razz’s Owen Bell had the privilege of a sit down and a chat with Matt Donnelly, drummer to Don Broco. See Owen’s review of the gig here Review: Don Broco @ Lemon Grove Owen Bell: What on earth happened in Oxford, at your previous gig? How…

Review: Love, Simon

Love, Simon, the eagerly-anticipated romantic comedy directed by Dawson’s Creek producer, Greg Berlanti, is notable for being one of few mainstream films featuring a closeted protagonist, with Nick Robinson playing a teenage boy-next-door hiding his sexuality from his friends. The film follows his journey of self-acceptance as a gay man, aided by an anonymous fellow…

Review: Don Broco @ Lemon Grove

Don Broco are one of the most exciting and dynamic bands on the British indie rock scene. They’ve evolved somewhat, from a pop-rock sound to a heavier and more experimental genre, but have maintained the energy that made them so engaging in the first place. I saw them at the Lemon Grove, which was the…

The Paddon Award 2018

Our university is bursting with artistic students, from those who are active members of music, drama and art societies to those who take a more personal and introverted approach to their art.  On Tuesday 27th March I was lucky enough to attend this year’s Paddon Award ceremony; a small, intimate event which recognises artistic talent…

In My Good Books: ‘Birdsong’ by Sebastian Faulks

Heart-warming and heart-breaking, Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong combines epic romance with harrowing warfare. Written in 1993, Faulks brings the horrors of the First World War to the modern reader in this vivid novel. Birdsong follows the life of Stephen Wraysford as he begins as an apprentice in Amiens, France. Stephen lives with his employer Rene and…

#FillTheGap Workshop and Protest with Like A Dude Theatre Company

On Thursday 22nd March, I had the pleasure of attending Like A Dude Theatre Company’s workshop and protest that questioned, and ultimately campaigned against, the gender pay gap. The experience was truly extraordinary and genuinely empowering. Here is how it went. On Thursday morning I headed out and gathered with the other participants outside of…

Review: Field Music @ Exeter Phoenix

How many cowbells are too many cowbells? The limit does not exist. Or so was the case for Field Music’s recent gig at Exeter Phoenix. Both Field Music, fronted by Sunderland-hailing brothers Peter and David Brewis, and their warm up act, Mary Epworth, certainly delivered on that front, treating the audience to a celebration of…

Review: May Your Kindness Remain by Courtney Marie Andrews

Country singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews became something of an overnight success in America after her critically-acclaimed breakthrough album Honest Life was released last year. Prior to that, she’d spent over ten years trying to break into the business as a solo artist, ever since she left her home state of Arizona at the age of…

Review: ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ by Exeter University Theatre Company

Thoroughly ridiculous and completely hilarious, EUTCO’s production of ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ kept the audience on the edge of their seat. A modern adaptation by Richard Bean of the Commedia dell’arte play “Servant of Two Masters”, the show is set in a delightful 1960s Brighton, with an eclectic range of characters, songs, dance and foolery,…

Review & Interview: Tom Walker @ Exeter Cavern

Tom Walker is an upcoming artist from Manchester, who started his UK tour last Sunday right here in Exeter. Before the actual performance, I had the opportunity to interview him myself. For a man with such a huge voice and talent, he was actually an extremely humble and genuine guy and was very happy to…

Review: A Fantastic Woman

The winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, A Fantastic Woman, is a fascinating exploration of discrimination, love, and grief portrayed through a stunning performance by Chile’s first openly transgender actress, Daniela Vega. The film follows Marina (Daniela Vega), a waitress and singer, in the days following her boyfriend Orlando’s (Fancisco Reyes)…

Unimumma’s Week 4 Recipes: Ham and Beetroot Salad Lunchbox

Makes 1-2 servings (but can be easily double although you may want to make fresh that morning or night before so ingredients don’t go soggy in the fridge) Ingredients 1 raw beetroot 1 tsp wholegrain mustard Ham trimmings (do not be put off by buying ham trimmings, they are significantly cheaper, and are lot more…

Unimumma’s Weekly Meal Plan: Week 4

This week heavily features a great root vegetable which is commonly underappreciated and feared: the beetroot! I know many people don’t like beetroot, but I have discovered new ways to make it delicious. It is a great source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, manganese, potassium, and folic acid! So give these recipes a…

Review: Semi-Toned @ Exeter Northcott

The day after the release of their third EP “Strike Three”, Semi-Toned take to the stage of the sold-out Northcott Theatre, where major national productions have run: not a bad venue for the 12-man student led a cappella group. The show is powerful, dramatic and showcases a highly impressive range of musical styles, vocals, and…